Making a bigger difference

If we continue to do what we’ve always done, we will get the results we have always got.

How do we know that what we plan to do will lead to a service innovation or … make a bigger difference? These guides illustrate methods and tools to help NHS teams answer this question.


Making a bigger difference

A guide for NHS front-line staff and leaders on assessing and stimulating service innovation

You and your colleagues already have some ideas (which you may or may not have implemented) but you need to know whether they really are innovative, or you would like to be challenged to stretch your thinking even further.

Senior leaders may wonder whether all the changes in their organisations are just more of the same, or are really deeply challenging current ways of thinking.

This guide will help to answer a number of questions including:

  • How can I assess whether a given idea is innovative or not?
  • How can we stimulate more innovation to get even better results in service delivery?

The guide takes you through a five step process which incorporates detailed instructions, examples, and practical advice on how to use a number of tools and techniques to make a bigger difference. An appendix provides case examples, summaries of tools, and a glossary of terms. 

This document is available to download here.


Commissioning to make a bigger difference

A guide for NHS and social care commissioners on promoting service innovation

The guide provides commissioners with insights into making a bigger difference in service and marketplace development. It also provides guidance about how they can help to create conditions in their health and social care economy that favour the generation of innovative ideas. The culture for innovation framework describes seven factors that organisational studies show are linked to innovative output.

In each section, this guide provides detailed instructions, examples, and practical advice on application, which is geared to the needs of world class commissioners. An appendix provides five case examples, summaries of tools, and a glossary of terms.

While incremental change remains highly desirable, at perhaps no other time in its history has the NHS and its partner public services needed innovation – step-changes in what we do and how we perform – more than now.

This document is available to download here


These guides, along with companion publications from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, are designed to stretch thinking to make a bigger difference.